Sunday, 29 September 2013

Bushcraft Practice - Part 1

I recently escaped to the woods for several days, the first three to camp and practice skills as much as possible and the last two were part of a weekend course running on the site I was using. The woods are the stomping ground of Joe O Leary from Wilderness Survival Skills, and as I was making a trip down from the north for the weekend courses, he was very generous in letting me camp on my own in the woods leading up to them.
A quick meet up and tour of the main site, and I was left to my own devices.


Its a really nice woodland, dominated by Hazel coppice, Oak standards and many more mixed deciduous trees of various age class. Just for good measure there were blocks of coniferous trees. Materials were not on the short side here! I really like camping out on my own when I have a lot of things I want to practice or try out for the first time. I can just dedicate every minute of the day to them with no distractions. The complete opposite of my normal day to day life. Meeting up for a laugh and a joke with other folks later on is equally enjoyable, and balances things out nicely.

First job was to set up a tarp to dump my rucksack full of modern gear, while I got started on building a natural shelter. I didn't quite get the job done by the first night getting easilly distracted by other things, so kipped under here for ease.

Next day I moved in. Fire reflector, cooking/drying tripod, bed and roof made.
Just a blanket for the evening as it was fairly warm and I planned on a large fire too.  

Used a well supported fallen Ash tree for the roof support. 

Ferns for the roof over the hazel rafters, trapped on by the larger limbs

Then I decided to go for a walk and check out the local area. 
Great chance to practice map and compass work, and pacing out to track junctions.

Reaching the edge of the woods, and very nice it was too.
Started to glimpse a few of the other resources on site as I moved around.

Getting back to camp with some wood, feeling hungry and needing a brew, 
I carved a spoon burning in the bowl so I could eat and stir in style :)

Other parts coming up....